Part 8: Nisan
Note: Bledavik is the Royal Capital of Aveh, Nisan is the Holy Capital of Aveh. You'll hear both referred to as the capital, so pay attention to the "Holy" or "Royal."
Sigurd: Well, Marguerite, now that we have saved you, may we ask you one thing? Why did you go up against the enemy by yourself?
Margie: Sorry, but I heard a rumor in the town that day. It was said that the Sect's sisters who were captured by Aveh were still alive...
Sigurd: Obviously a groundless rumor started by the enemy in order to lure you out.
Maison: Please, don't be so hard on her; the Nisan Sect is Marguerite's home. It's perfectly understandable.
Bart: Then, you thought you could save them alone? That was stupid!
Margie: I believed it! So what! I was wrong. But, but Grandma and Mom were already executed.
Maison: At any rate, Marguerite is unhurt. That's the main thing! Before luck runs out, let's take Marguerite to Nisan. We can talk more there. Now, I'll go prepare Marguerite's room.
Miss Marguerite, may I ask you to accompany me?
Bart: Margie! Next time let us know! We'll go for you!
Margie: Yeah, I'll do that.
Margie and Maison enter the Yggdrasil
Sigurd: Marguerite is straining herself. Young Master, you should be kind to her.
Sigurd enters the Yggdrasil
Bart: That Margie! Leaving a strange stuffed animal in a place like this! Because of this, we can't get into the bridge. I am completely confounded by this. So, um yeah, this stuffed animal is blocking the path, guess we're fucked.
Voice: I'm not strange!
Bart: Hey, Fei! Stop the funny voices, will ya'!
Fei: Huh? I didn't say anything.
Bart: That's weird, anyway, let's ask Margie to get rid of it.
First we hit up Maison for some stories
Maison: Sob, sob. Oh, to think that Marguerite has now returned. Come to think of it, this is the second time we have had to flee from the Royal Capital. It seems like an awfully long time ago, that night that I took them with me to escape.
Bart: Yeah, and on top of that he was bold enough to steal this ship along the way! You know, this used to be the kingdom's flagship.
Maison: Yes, it was all Sigurd's doing, so courageous of him, even at such a young age. Anyway, this Yggdrasil can be considered a keepsake of the late king for the young master.
Bart: It kinda' feels like you're stuck to me for life. Even though you used to be my personal knight, right? Now I'm just a kid pirate.
Masion: But, eventually you will become a proud lord.
Bart: I gotta' hurry up and grow or I'll never be proud of myself. And I won't be able to win against him.
Now to Margie's room
Bart: Hey, Margie! Get rid of that strange stuffed animal sitting in front of the bridge. It's in our way.
Margie: It's not a 'strange stuffed animal'! It has a name.
This is what I did, but it took everything not to go for this one
Margie: Her name is Chu-Chu! But that's weird. It was just here, where I put it, a moment ago.
[Suddenly, the doll walks in the room!]
Chu-Chu: I fell in love with you when I first saw you in Bledavik! Wherever you go, I shall go chu! Oh my, I just declared my love...
Bart: What we thought was just a stuffed toy is actually a living animal! Weird!
Margie: No wonder it felt strangely lukewarm!
Fei: Wha, what!?
Bart: Looking good, Fei!
Fei: Shut up!
Bart: It's all right. I, as the captain, give you my permission!
Chu-Chu: Yeah, yeah!
Fei: Suit yourself!
Bart: Ha, ha, ha! Well, I don't want to interrupt you two, so I'll wait outside!
Margie: Thank you for your help at the castle. I heard you really riled it up at the tournament. Bart was bragging how you're both buddies and all.
Margie: I'm so ashamed, I wanted to be of help to Bart but I ended up owing him again. Fei, have you seen Bart's back? Yeah, we get naked together all the time. He's got scars all over his back and it looks so painful. Long ago, when the two of us got caught by Shakhan, Bart protected me from being beaten. At that time I decided to be his follower, to serve and protect him! But, he is the one who's always protecting me.
Margie: Uh, oh, so sorry. Anyway, thanks a lot for saving me!
Talking to Chu-Chu she spots the spider I grabbed way back on the way to Citan's house
Chu-Chu: munch, munch. Hey that was my spider! Presents are a way chu a girl's heart! Here's your reward.
She gives me an Ether Veiler so it's OK.
Fei and Bart head back to the bridge
Sigurd: Young master, according to Margie, there's quite a troublemaker in Gebler.
Bart: Yeah, so, who the heck is he?
Sigurd: Kahran Ramsus of the Holy Solaris Empires' Special Foreign Affairs Agency. In
otherwords, he's the commander in chief of Gebler. It seems that Gebler isn't just after the excavation sites around Aveh after all.
Bart: You mean, they're not after the Jasper?
Sigurd: If that's their goal they wouldn't need to send an important man like him! Young master, this could become unexpectedly complicated.
Fei: Doc hasn't come back yet, has he?
Sigurd: Hyu...I mean, 'doc,' no need to worry about him. He'll join us soon.
Sigurd: We shall have to enter Nisan through the secret road. Let's keep a lookout for a lone tree in the desert for a sign of where the road lies buried! Shall we launch the Yggdrasil?
The screen goes to Citan and Sigurd in the gun room
Sigurd: Alright, I understand you. But Kahran Ramsus taking over the post of Aveh is pretty annoying.
Citan: The home country might have had some reasons.
Sigurd: Yeah, obviously.
Citan: But perhaps there is still a chance of success. You and I, who used to be called
'Elements' at the commander's training school 'Jugend', are both here!
Sigurd: I hope you are right.
Citan: By the way, she is still...?
Sigurd: According to Fei, there was a female aide on Kahr's side, and he said that she had
Indigo blue eyes and hair, so it must be her...
Citan: So all the old 'Elements' members are on the surface world now...
Sigurd: I guess so, Hyuga, to be honest with you, she scares me. She supports Kahr and is kind to anyone, I know that very well. But sometimes I felt a strange fear in her. That bothers me more than Kahr being in this land.
Citan: That cannot be true, not in her.
Sigurd: Yeah, I don't want to believe it, either, but don't you remember how I could always sense those things quite accurately?
Citan: Right, by the way, have you told the young one yet?
Sigurd: No, not yet. I don't want him to worry until we know exactly what Solaris' objectives really are. But I have to tell him eventually though. Anyway, Hyuga, have you gotten any information?
Citan: Not really, I left there before going to the center section.
Fei is listening in from the top of the stairs
Fei: (Oh, it's you Bart! Don't scare me!)
Bart: (Sorry-dorry. It sounds like Sig and your doctor friend know each other pretty darn well. Sig, damn, I though I knew everything about that guy!)
Fei: (When did doc get back.?)
We dock at the secret underground entrance to Nisan
Sigurd: I'll complete the remaining checks onboard. I'll leave the rest up to you, Maison.
Maison: As you wish, I will have the honor of accompanying the others.
Bart and company exit through the hatch
Bart: Yeah. How's the town?
Man: Since we got the word several days ago that there might be an army advancing from the Royal Capital the Sect's representatives have been in discussion.
Bart: What have they come up with?
Man: For now, they just plan to improve the local defenses. Also, anti-Shakhan people have been gathering here, probably because they heard about what's going on.
Bart: That's reassuring.
Man: Yes. However, the residents are starting to feel uneasy. People are starting to take refuge up north in the mountains.
Bart: Can't blame them.
Man: By the way, how's Marguerite?
Bart: Better than we thought. But I know she was in a lot of grief.
Margie comes through the hatch
Man: Marguerite! I'm so glad you're safe.
Man: All the townspeople are overjoyed by the Great Mother's return.
Margie walks off ahead
Citan: Well, first of all, we should accompany Marguerite up to meet the sisters!
Maison starts crying like a baby
Bart: Huh? What is it old Maison?
Maison: Sniff, goodness gracious me! To think that little Miss Marguerite was finally able to return here, it is so awfully moving!
Bart: H-hey! Pull yourself together, old man!
Maison: F-forgive me. How terribly embarrassing! I couldn't help it, I, I shall go back and give some instructions to the man left on the ship. Please, young master, go ahead and escort Miss Marguerite up to see the sisters. Excuse me now.
We sneak up to the town hall and listen in on the council
Councilman 1: How's Bledavik
Councilman 2: It's under martial law so it's gotten progressively harder to contact our agents in the city. According to the info we finally got, just a while ago, there's no major activity. We think they've found some reason to attack and are getting ready now. The possibility exists; however, I've heard that Shakhan's powerbase in the capital is eroding away. He's probably weaker than we thought. Anyway it's happened and we're committed now.
Old Councilman: I feel the same way. Now that I think about it, 12 years ago,
Old Councilman: With Marguerite back now, I agree that the former dynasty should be returned to power.
Councilman 3: Everyone feels the same, but we must look at reality. Do we have the strength to do it now? Now I hear that Bartholomew, the one who brought back Marguerite, has started moving around out in the open. I'm certain that Shakahn is preparing a large army. Shakhan may be coming here soon.
Councilman 3: What's going to happen to us if he captures this area? Will everyone be killed?
Councilman 4: I seriously doubt that. Even he won't want to risk provoking any kind of outrage with the citizens. Especially in this situation, he will definitely want to avoid putting himself in a compromising situation.
Councilman 3: We should set up a hiding place just in case, maybe there...
Bart: Please, don't either of you talk about this in front of Margie. She's only just got back from her long time in captivity. I don't want her to have to worry. I want her to be happy for a little longer.
Citan: You should not be overly worried yourself! You have just got to think about what is best for the future of the land. What is done is done! You only did what you believed was right. Put the past behind you.
Bart: Huh, alright.
The party catches up to Margie and some dude.
Man: Oh, Bart! I'm glad you're well. The people at the hidden port contacted us just before you came into town. I've already contacted the monastery. Please take Margie up there as soon as possible. She'll be so happy, not to mention the sisters!
Margie: I must hurry and see the sisters.
We head to the Cathedral
The sisters are singing a hymn.
Margie: I'm back, everyone!
Nun: Oh, Margie! We're so glad you're safe.
Margie: Yes, it is all thanks to Bart and his men.
Sister: We just received word, so we were singing a hymn of praise and joy. We're so happy! Oh, what a relief!
A sister approaches Margie
Sister Agnes: Welcome back, Margie. We had faith that you and your cousin Bart would one day return safely. We and your other friends have been waiting for you.
Margie: Sister Agnes!
Sister Agnes: Unfortunately, your mother and the blessed Royal Mother...
Margie: I know, Sister Agnes, I heard about it at the Royal Capital, but at least I have made it back. I'll never go anywhere, or leave you from now on! I won't make you all worry anymore, ever again!
Sister Agnes: Bless you, my dear.
Margie: Sister Agnes, this just isn't like you at all! Here I am back safe and sound. Can't you rebuke me just a little, for old time's sake?
Sister Agnes: Ha, I'm sorry, but I am just so happy that I cannot help but...
Sister Agnes: There is no reason to be so solemnly quiet, well, everyone! To celebrate the return of our dear sister Margie and to express our joy to heaven, let us finish singing our hymn.
Margie: Thank you, and bless you all! Oh, yes, sister, may I go upstairs? It's been oh so long, so I want to have a look around up there too.
Sister Agnes: Oh, but of course, dear! Don't even think of holding back from anything, except for one thing. Never stay away so long like that again.
Margie: Ha, ha! I knew you'd say that. Now that's the Agnes I know!
The sisters head back to the alter
Sister: Margie, I am so glad.
She joins the others
Bart: It's been a while since the last time I was here. Something wrong, Margie?
Margie: Nothing. It's just, I guess I got a little emotional. Heh, heh, heh.
Bart: Anyhow, take it easy for a while. You've put up with enough, okay?
Margie: If you're trying to make me cry, you'll fail. Oh yes! I'll show Fei and Citan around our cathedral, follow me!
Margie goes ahead
Citan: What a strong girl she is, it is obvious that she really wants to just break down and
Bart: Yeah, you're right, that's just the way she has always been. For all her talk, she understands her position well. Maybe there are a few things I could learn from her too.
Margie is waiting at a door
Margie: We go up to the gallery on the second floor from here...
We have to go up the stairs
Margie is slow as hell and Fei can't manage to jump over her. If you bump he she stops until you back off.
They circle around to a balcony with a good view.
Citan: How magnificent!
Margie: If we ever got scolded for pranks as kids, Bart and I used to hide here.
Bart: Hey, stop telling those old stories. It's embarrassing!
Margie: But to me, Bart hasn't changed much since then.
They keep walking
Bart: What! You mean you think I'm still a kid?
Margie: I like the view from here best.
There are two angels, one male and one female, each with one wing. This is the much better Square one-winged angel reference.
Citan: Yes, this is breathtaking! Light from outside shining through the stained glass of the cathedral's front. What a brilliant piece of artistry this is.
Margie: Did you notice that the two great angels only have one wing each? According to a legend handed down in Nisan, God could have created humans perfectly, but then, humans would not have helped each other. So that is what these great single-winged angels symbolizes, in order to fly, they are dependant on one another.
Citan: Ah, so that is the reason for it. I see, on further inspection, the left angel looks somewhat masculine, while the right one looks somewhat feminine. Now that is an unusual feature, is it not? Usually these depictions are not gender-specific. But these angels are clearly distinguishable as having opposing genders. The church hates homosexuals in this world too. Assholes And the space between them is the path from where God advents, or could it be the path leading to God? Well, I do not know, it could be either, or even both. Now I see! This all coincides with the teachings of Nisan.
Margie: Ha, ha, ha! Why Doctor Citan Uzuki! You are an amusing fellow!
Citan: Oh! Excuse me. It is a habit of mine...
Fei: The doc knows a lot about a lot of things. Sometimes I can't even understand what he's talking about. Me too Fei
Bart: Hah! Forcing them to fly together? It would be less bothersome if they could fly on their own, don't you think, Fei? Lolz, nudge, nudge :drinks a Bartweiser:
Margie: Bart! You miss the deeper meaning and beauty of it. Someday I wish I could be of help to someone like that. Oh, we haven't visited the 'Room of Sophia' yet, have we? You're really supposed to go through some procedures before you can see it, but this time I think it will be alright if I make a special exception. She's the Holy Mother of Nissan, who is she afraid of pissing off?
Margie: Yes, Sophia. She is revered as the founding mother of the Nisan nation, and the founder of the Nisan religion who set forth its teachings. There is a special room upstairs that has a portrait of Mother Sophia in it.
Citan: I would definitely like to view that! Fei, let us go have a look at it!
Citan: Oh, what an exquisite portrait! And the beautiful young lady portrayed is quite beyond comparison too. What is more, this looks rather familiar! What do you think, Fei?
Fei: Yes, I was just thinking the same thing. The hair is a different color, but the atmosphere or personality about her is exactly the same.
Citan: What? Hair color? What do you mean?
Fei: What do I mean? Look! It's the girl I met in the forest, it's Elly! I mean, there's something about her that's just like Elly, you don't think so?
Citan: Yes, now that you mention it, she does resemble Elly. But that is not what I was talking about; I meant that the brush techniques and overall style used in this picture is similar to yours.
Fei walks up to examine the picture
Fei: Does it? First of all, I'm nowhere near as good an artist.
Citan: No, it is very similar to your style. But somehow I can sense an atmosphere of sadness in this picture. She is smiling, but in a way, gives the impression that she is anxious. Perhaps the picture is reflecting her inner self? Or perhaps it is the inner feelings of the artist being conveyed. Ahh, if you look closely, you will notice that the painting is not completely finished. The artist put his brushes down when it was near completion. Why is that?
Margie: I don't know, but my grandmother might have known about it. Oh! What if we ask Agnes? She may know something. Alright then, I'll be with Sister Agnes.
Bart: Well, shall we head back to the town for now?
Citan: Yes, alright, but this painting has caught my curiosity. Do you mind if I speak to
Sister Agnes before we head back to town?
Bart: Yeah, okay. We'll stop by her room on the way out.
Bart and Citan leave, Fei has a sudden vision
Fei returns to the present
Citan: Is something wrong, Fei? You look like you are daydreaming.
Fei: Huh? No, it's nothing.
The party goes to Sister Agnes
Sister Agnes : The lady portrayed in that picture is Nisan's great founding Mother. Some say that it was painted at least 500 years ago.
Citan: 500 years ago, now that is quite amazing. Personally, I find it intriguing. Do you have any historical material from that period?
Sister Agnes: In our hands, there are no such records left intact. All records and materials concerning Sophia have been lost. The portrait is the only thing left. We too do not have much knowledge about her.
Citan: That is too bad! So there really is nothing left at all?
Sister Agnes: For someone who has helped Marguerite, I would have loved to share them, but unfortunately I am unable to help here.
Citan: Oh well, none the matter. Please do not worry about it. I was just inquiring. But, it does seem somewhat strange, if such a majestic building as this survived history, then it is likely a scroll or two would remain too.
Sister Agnes: According to tradition, Sophia was present about 500 years ago. She sacrificed herself for the people and has been summoned to be with God. That's all I can tell you.
Citan: I see. So everything was lost in the darkness of history.
The leave the cathedral
Maison: Yo-ung ma-ste-r!
The group heads back to the entrance to Nisan, stopping in front of a house
Maison: The people of Nisan were most generous to allow us to rent this house. So there will be no need to seek lodging at the inn for a while. Also, Master Sigurd wishes a word with you regarding your next move, if he may.
Bart: Alright, so where is Sig?
Maison: The good Master Sigurd is waiting for you inside.
Bart: Okay, thanks Maison.
Sigurd: Whenever I come here it always calms my heart. Anyway, young master, I want to work out what our plans from here on are.
Bart: Alright. But before we do that, there is something I want to ask you.
Bart: Sig, what's up with you and that Gebler officer? What's the connection between you and him? You know, you sure know a lot about Solaris for some reason!
Sigurd looks at Citan, he nods
Sigurd: Alright. I'll tell you. Me and... Citan, here, we used to live in Solaris.
Bart: Solaris, you mean where Gebler's from?
Sigurd: That's right. Solaris calls foreigners 'Lambs.' They are used as manual labor, basically it's slavery.
Bart: Slavery? Is that where you met him?
Citan: Yes, it was there.
Sigurd: We worked for the Solaris government for a short while, but we learned to dislike the methods and escaped the first chance we had.
Bart: You were friends with these people? I met you when I was a kid and we've been together ever since then. So this would have had to have happened before then. I probably wouldn't have understood if I had heard it earlier, but, why didn't you think I could deal with it now? Surely you could have told me about this? Especially when you had something to do with the people who are backing that Shakhan idiot! I wish you'd told me sooner.
Sigurd: There's nothing I can do about that now. But, there's one thing I want you to believe. We left Solaris on our own will and for our own reasons. Now that they've appeared before us, we can't just sit back and do nothing. If need be, I will give my life to stop them.
Bart: Alright, I understand. But can you elaborate a little more? What bugs me is the 'surface dweller' thing. It's as if Solaris is in another location. Like up in the clouds or something.
Sigurd: Yes, well, Etrenank, the capital of the Solaris Empire is located in the skies above. Solaris is separated from the land by dimensional distortion fields known as 'Gates'. Passing between the two requires special means of transportation, such as an airship. To get to Aveh we stowed away on a regular flight to the surface.
Citan: I came much later than Sigurd did, but I also escaped in the same way.
Bart: What are Lambs?
Sigurd: That is the word Solarians use to indicate those who dwell on the earth. As I said before, such 'surface dwellers' or 'earth dwellers', are used for manual labor there. Manual labor could be anything from soldiers to administrative jobs. Solaris gathers its work force from the land dwellers. Jobs are divided up by who is most suitable. Sometimes people are brainwashed.
Sigurd: I... when you, young master, were still an infant, I was used as a test subject. There was probably something they valued inside of me.
Fei: You too, doc?
Citan: No, I was born in the lower city levels. It is not a complete secret, but I guess I am a Solarian. You see, you still need people to run a country, no matter how scientifically advanced you are, you have no support without the people.
Sigurd: Pure Solarians are rare. They would not even make up a quarter of Aveh's population. So, they support their country by stealing surface dwellers.
Bart: Who is that man?
Sigurd: His name is, Kahr, Kahran Ramsus. As you know, he's the Gebler Commander.
Sigurd: We call him Kahr. In Solaris there is an officer training school called Jugend. He became the Commander after leaving there.
Citan: He is a low level citizen, the same as me. However, with his amazing abilities... After graduation, he rose through the ranks with unparalleled speed.
Sigurd: That man had one ideal. To achieve a consolidation of all his colleagues, even land dwellers, if they had talent, were brought into the army.
Bart: So you two were picked by Ramsus?
Citan: No, we were not picked by him, we aligned ourselves with him.
Sigurd: At that time, we agreed with him.
Citan: At that time, Ramsus was our hope. He had high ideals and wanted to change the system in Solaris. To use test subjects and lower level citizens, he was truly all we wished for.
Bart: A benefactor?
Sigurd: Yes, even I, a test subject, was changed by his ideals.
Bart: So why was it that you wanted to flee from Solaris?
Sigurd: We were placed in key military positions by Ramsus, and thanks to that, we came to know the relationship between Solaris and the surface dwellers.
Bart: The 'Lambs,' right?
Sigurd: They weren't just using us 'Lambs' for slave labor. They also selected some of us, like me, to be used as subjects in experiments to refine their drugs, drugs that change people's personalities, to make them more aggressive and to draw out their latent abilities.
They were using us human guinea pigs to test their psychological alteration drugs!
Bart: Human guinea pigs! Experimenting on humans!
Sigurd: Yes, for example, 'Drive,' that drug, and all others like it that are used now, are by-products of human experimentation...
Citan: However, the role of such experimental subjects was not limited to just that!
Fei: This 'Drive' drug is something that anyone in the Solaris army can use?
Citan: At least anyone in the Gebler forces who is sent to the surface.
Bart: You're worried about her, huh?
Bart: I saw some, in her room.
Bart: Anyway, using slaves as guinea pigs, how low are these guys? Damn! Hmm, I think I get most of it. Old Maison! Go reserve the town hall for us. We'll finish talking there. I'm going outside to get some air.
Sigurd: I should have been honest with him sooner.
Citan: It is best to not worry about it. You did all that you could at the time. The young one will understand.
Fei and Citan find Bart on a bridge overlooking Nisan
Citan: Are you still suspicious of Sigurd?
Bart: Well, I mean, it was just so sudden. I kind of expected to hear something different, like they Sigurd and Ramsus were childhood rivals or something, but that's nothing compared to the story he just told us, is it?
Citan: Hmm. So hearing his story has confused you because it was not so simple. There was a time when we were cooperating with one of Gebler's generals, furthermore, behind Gebler was a country that you had never even heard of.
Bart: Hey, what are you picking on me for?
Citan: No, I am not picking on you or blaming anything on you. What I am saying is this, if you think about how he feels, then you should see why he could not talk about this with you till now. Looking at the activities of Solaris toward other countries up until now, it has never gone beyond simply maintaining their own empire, or 'self-preservation'. And as you have seen, their military power is immense. So Sigurd was probably thinking ahead. First he was probably concentrating on taking care of the problems here on the continent of Ignas. Once things were settled here, it would give him a stronger foundation to deal with Solaris later, which is a much better plan than rushing straight into a war he knew we could not win, quite logical, really.
Bart: Sounds like you understand one another pretty well.
Citan: Well it is not like we are newly acquainted, is it? And we had talked about a lot of things up until we decided to escape from Solaris.
Bart: Speaking of that, why did you leave? That Ramsus guy was supposed to be a 'Star of Hope' or something, wasn't he?
Citan: Yes, I certainly thought so at first. But then I realized his way of thinking was not that much of a change from the previous system. Basically, the only difference was whether they stressed people's rank and class, or their skill. The words had changed, but it was still no different from what Solaris itself had been doing until then. He had no intentions of bringing everyone a better way of life. Come one meritocracy is way better than aristocracy
Bart: In other words, he's an elitist. I don't think I like him much, either. So, Citan, do you think I can beat Gebler?
Citan: Why? Are you planning on fighting them?
Bart: As long as they're working with Shakhan, there's no way around it. The way things are going, I'm sure we'll have to fight them sooner or later.
Citan: Hmm, I suppose so, but, even if we were able to defeat the Gebler forces here, there is still Solaris to deal with. If we are not careful, it is possible that we may get involved in a longer war with Shakhan. Do you not agree that continuing the way we have been going is rather hard on everyone? I think it is time we try to get help from a greater number of people.
Bart: So defeating Shakhan's not going to get rid of the likes of Gebler. I know what you're trying to say, 'To vanquish Gebler, first gain thy throne!' Right?
Citan: Hmm, you could put it that way.
Bart: What do you mean, 'You could put it that way'? But then again, maybe it is time I did something about that.
To the town hall
Cause the town hall didn't have one
Sigurd: The owner said, 'If you need anything for the young master, just ask for it.'
Bart: I'm grateful. When I was a kid, I borrowed stuff from there and got in big trouble.
Fei: Borrowed? What did you take?
Bart: A toy boat. I think that's what it was. I put fireworks in it and let it float on the cathedral's lake. I always used to play 'navy'. I'm not sure, but I think I pretended the lake was the open sea and I was the fleet commander. Anyway, forget those old stories. We should get started. First, Gebler is the big problem.
Citan: Yes, Ramsus is headed towards achieving his goals. That he is now the commander of Gebler is proof of that. A normal man could not progress so quickly through that country's organization. And now he is presently located here in Ignas. Frankly, the situation is not very favorable. We need to somehow find a weak spot and attack it with all our might.
Bart: First, let's just concentrate on Shakhan. Once he's out of the way and Aveh is safe again, we can think about how to deal with the Gebler. With our present strength we should be able to hold off the Royal Guard forces. The problem is how to deal with Gebler in the mean time. They will most likely move at Shakhan's request. They're not just gonna' sit by and watch quietly.
Citan: May I have a look there, please? In short, we want Gebler to leave for a while... At least until we are able to take back the Royal Capital, Bledavik.
They look at the map
Citan: The western guards, the Royal Capital defense force, and units along the front line at the border with Kislev. There are three main groups. Each is made up of a mix of Gebler and Aveh forces. Only two of these are very large.
Bledavik and Kislev troops flash.
Citan: The Royal Capital's defense units and the Kislev border units. The western guard along Nisan's border are little more than a surveillance team.
Sigurd: In order to recapture the Royal Capital, it will be necessary to draw these defense units away from Bledavik.
Citan: We have some Kislev made Gears, correct?
Bart: Yeah, we captured some earlier.
Citan: What if we use those Gears to make a raid on the western guards, here at the border with Nisan?
Bart: I see. We'll draw them out by making it look like Kislev is invading Aveh.
Sigurd: But the problem is, will attacking the border guards be enough to set the center in motion?
Citan: To be sure then, Nisan will just have to appear to align with Kislev. If they see it that way, they will certainly make a move.
Bart: You're saying that you intend to use Nisan as bait?
Sigurd: Shakhan is very sensitive to Nisan and Kislev's actions. If Nisan starts moving he will probably leave it to Gebler, but...
Citan: Of course I do not wish to do that from the beginning. But looking at the situation, we have to be willing to go that far.
Bart: First, we infiltrate into the capital. To take out Shakhan, we'll have to meet with our agents already in the city.
Citan: We are forgetting one thing, the front line units along Kislev's border.
Citan: The main strength of Aveh's fleet is the battleship Kefeinzel. It's been in service since the reign of the last king. Because of its firepower, the whole unit is nicknamed the
'invincible fleet'. I recall yesterday's intelligence report said the ship is near the border.
Bart: Damn, that puts everything in jeopardy!
Citan: Do not feel so down. I simply wanted you to see the current distribution of force in the area. Even in the worst case that they do come, it will not be such a great problem.
Bart: What do you mean?
Citan: I have some additional information about Aveh's border fleet. The former Aveh supreme commander was transferred there. Not really transferred, more like demoted, his name is Vanderkaum. That's REAL good for us
Sigurd: Vanderkaum, you don't mean the Vanderkaum that was in Jugend?
Citan: The very same. Young one, he has not been able to adapt to the change in tactics, particularly following the introduction of Gears. He is a man who will never stray from his dependence on large naval guns.
Bart: You mean he's stubborn. He is all size and no real military power, an excellent target for pirates.
Maison: Young master! This is not going to be an act of piracy!
Bart: Just kidding.
Citan: Actually, the number of Gears assigned to the fleet seems to have been reduced. Even with that, how gallant of him to be so self-righteous.
Bart: Is he that much of a muscle-head? It'll be fun taunting him.
Maison: Young master!
Bart: I know! I know! Anyway, Citan, do you think he can strike our Gear forces?
Citan: It is not a problem. Even with Vanderkaum, we have enough forces to pull off the feint. However, it would not be wise to underestimate our opponents.
Sigurd: Well, now that we know what we are up against, here's what we'll do. Apart from our main unit heading for Bledavik, we must keep the fleet at the Kislev border from returning to the capital.
Bart: So you're suggesting that we have another unit?
Citan: A few effective soldiers to hold the enemy at bay, a small force is best.
Sigurd: A small force?
Citan: What if Fei leads a group of Gears there?
Sigurd: Hold on now! There's no reason to involve you all in this!
Fei: I'll do it. Yes, let me do it. When do we leave?
Bart: Are you sure?
Fei: We've come this far. Hey, we're friends to the end, now! BFF
Citan: Speed is everything. We should do this as soon as possible.
Bart: All right, tomorrow!
Sigurd: I am truly grateful, Fei, Citan.
Bart: Yeah! There's no way we can lose! No one will die in vain!
Maison: Well put, young master!
-The next day-
Margie: What's with the long face? Not feeling well? Or are you feeling sad about saying goodbye? Or maybe you're just nervous?
Bart: Shut up, stupid! Don't bug me!
Margie: Hee hee. Well, it's almost time.
Bart: Yeah, yeah, is everyone ready to go? I'll be here, so let me know when you are through preparing.
Citan: There is a new wind blowing today.
Sigurd: We'll wait for the right moment, then head for the palace in the Yggdrasil!
Bart: Got it. But avoid any unnecessary deaths. This especially goes for Aveh troops and also the people from Gebler.
Sigurd: Yes. We understand.
Fei: I guess I'm going to raise some hell in my Weltall then.
Sigurd: We're counting on you!
Margie: Next time we meet I won't be able to call you 'Bart' or 'Young master'. Maybe, 'Your Majesty'?
Bart: Cut it out. Bart's fine, 'Great Mother of Nisan'!
Margie: Hey! You know I hate that title!
Bart: Ha ha ha! Well, we're outta' here!
Margie: Okay. Good luck!
They go to board the Yggdrasil
Sister Agnes: Marguerite and Bartholomew, seeing you two brings my hopes up. Long ago, before the Fatimas of Aveh were called Fatima, the royal brothers and their wives oversaw many prosperous reigns or eras. I'm looking forward to the day, when as the Great Mother of the Nisan Sect, you will take your place on the throne as Bartholomew's wife.
Margie: What!? Hey, hold on! I hate talking about queens and romance! Bart and I are best friends!
Sister Agnes: Ha ha, marriage is the best friendship. Well at the rate that you are maturing into a beautiful woman, I don't think Bart will be able to ignore you much longer.
Margie: Stop it, you're embarrassing me!
In the Yggdrasil gear hangers
Maitreya: Each squad of Gears take off, in order, from here to avoid being picked up. We'll meet at the Rockies by the border tomorrow at 1200. Got it?
Bart: Though the warship is outdated, you're only going in as a small unit. It's going to be a tough fight, but you could change Aveh's future. I'm counting on you.
Maitreya: Leave it up to us, young master! We'll drag Vanderkaum's tail around and around. Right, son!?
WTF I swear this must be some translator's idea of a joke.
Maitreya: Huh? Ha, ha, ha, ha! Well, young master, we promise to make something out of this battle!
The troops leave Bart Fei and Citan
Bart: Fei, I know it's odd for me to say this, since I'm the one who got you involved, but, be careful, okay?
Fei: You too.
Bart: If anything happens to me, take care of Margie and them for me!
Fei: Don't jinx yourself! It's not like you. But, I'll take care of them. Don't worry.
Until next time!
Endnote: Fuck Nisan, too much talk and no action, my fingers hurt.